Does your dog mutate into barking as soon as you get visitors? This is not only annoying, but can go so far that you do not want to receive any more visitors.
It doesn’t matter whether your dog keeps barking out of excitement or fear when you have visitors. Both triggers have one thing in common. Constant, long-lasting barking, which means immense stress for both parties.
Does your dog bark at visitors? In this article, you will find the most common triggers and how to solve them. So your next visit will not only be a relaxed get-together, but your dog will also shine with calmness.
In a nutshell: there is strength in stillness
Barking is normal behavior for your dog. A distinction is made between normal barking behavior, i.e. a short bark as a greeting, or long-lasting barking. This often degenerates into continuous barking for minutes.
Barking at visitors is not only an extremely stressful situation for you and the dog. It’s also possible that over time you won’t get visitors anymore because many people are afraid of barking dogs.
There are many ways you can stop your dog from barking. The magic word for the solution is: keep calm and learn to remain calm.
If the barking occurs regularly, the row with the neighbor or landlord is usually inevitable.
Why is your dog barking at visitors?
As soon as the doorbell rings, does your dog completely freak out and can no longer be spoken to? Now is exactly the time when you have to observe your dog’s behavior closely. There are different types of barking at visitors:
Juchhu, visitors are here
Some dogs are overjoyed when they visit. You can tell your dog is excited by the fact that it barks in a very high pitched voice, sometimes even squeaking.
Excited dogs will frantically move, turn, run like lightning to another room, and sometimes try to jump up on visitors and lick their faces.
Your dog mutates into a minder
You can also recognize aggressive barking by the pitch of your voice. Often he will first growl as a warning and then bark at your guests. The posture of your dog is completely different than that of an excited dog.
Dogs in a defensive posture are tense, staring at the door or guest and often making small leaps forward while barking.
If your dog barks every now and then, you don’t have to worry. However, if your dog barks for more than 30 minutes at a time, there may be legal consequences for you.
Your dog is an attention junkie
Your dog stands in front of your visitor, looks at him and barks non-stop? His posture is tense, he often takes small steps forward and back?
Your dog wants your visitor’s attention. Why is he doing this? Because that’s how he always got what he wanted.
My tip: talk to your guests in advance
In this way you prevent additional stress for you, your guests, and also for your dog. If your dog growls and snaps at your visitors, if your dog attacks your visitors, the use of a muzzle is temporarily advantageous. Placing the dog in another room is also a good option.
How do you get your dog to stop barking when you have visitors?
First you have to be clear about what you want to achieve. Should your dog continue to have direct contact with your guests when you visit?
Would you rather have your dog go to his place and stay there as soon as a visit is announced?
It is important that your dog is given a task when you visit that he is happy to do and that he enjoys doing.
Plan the workout in advance
When you receive visitors, a complete set of processes arises. From coming in, taking off your jacket to sitting down, you should be clear in advance how you want your dog to behave in the future and where you want him to be at that point in time.
Talk to your friends and ask who can help you with the training. Nobody would object to a good meal as payment.
Be consistent, assertive, and set simple, clear rules for the dog. This makes it easier for your dog to learn the new process.
Allow plenty of time for your training. Dogs only learn through constant repetition. Often the behavior has already become established and your dog now has to learn an alternative behavior.
Your dog gets its own retreat
If you want your dog to be in his basket when you visit, it is advisable to learn blanket training in advance. This teaches your dog to rest and relax.
Of course, this does not mean that the dog has to spend the entire duration of your visit on its blanket. If he is calm, you are welcome to call him to you. However, if he revs it up again and starts barking, growling, or demanding, send him back to his seat.
I have had the best experience with this solution even with attention junkies.
Your dog is learning to control itself
But if your dog is allowed to be there when you say hello, a good solution is to teach him to sit down quietly as an alternative behavior.
Practice this along with your visit. At the moment when the visit is announced (not yet visible) and your dog freaks out completely, you just wait until your dog calms down again. If your dog knows a stop signal, use it at the moment when he can be spoken to.
If your dog doesn’t finish, he will pause for a few moments. In that very moment of calm, you acknowledge him with his favorite reward.
The important thing is that the reward must have a higher value for your dog than the visitor.
If you do this consistently for a while, your dog’s behavior will change and he will become calmer.
If your dog is noticeably more relaxed, start incorporating the sit. Why? Because it gives him a new job. The former bad behavior is redirected to a behavior of your choice.
Of course, your visitor can also give your dog a reward.
Dogs barking at your guests are stressful for everyone involved. It gets on your nerves, makes you afraid of future visitors, and can even mean trouble with the neighbor or landlord.
The most important thing is that before training you are aware of what you expect from your dog. However, with a lot of patience, consistency, a good plan, and the help of your friends, it is possible that you will soon be able to enjoy your visit in peace.